Mental Health

A list of titles, brief descriptions and past presenters are provided below. Click here to learn more about our faculty.

ADD/ADHD: What, Why, and How to Address

eatings disorders and body image

Presenters discussed new avenues for identifying ADD/ADHD. They also evaluated existing treatment strategies in the field. Lastly, They identified growing ADD/ADHD medication abuse among adolescents.

Dr. Kevin Antshel
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at SUNY Upstate Medical University
Dr. Joshua Hersh
Psychiatrist at Miami University
Dr. Colleen Slipka
Psychiatrist at James Madison University

Additives, Preservatives, and Flavorings: Defining Nutrition in a World of Chemicals

Presenters discussed how food affects the brain. They explained different nutrition vocabulary, healthy eating, food additives, and myths & trends surrounding nutrition. Lastly, they provided examples of nutritional changes teens can make, foods to avoid, and signs that indicate unhealthy eating.

Heba Salama
At Home Winner of the Biggest Loser, Public Speaker
Dr. Robyn Silverman
Child and Teen Development Specialist
Gary L. Wenk
Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Ohio State University

Body Image and Eating Disorders

Lori Gunter taught parents the signs and symptoms of eating disorders and practical approaches to supporting children who are suffering. She also explained what constitutes appropriate things to say around the concepts of weight, eating disorders and body image. Lastly, she offered how to handle images of “ideal” bodies in the media.

Lori Gunther
Public Speaker

Deciphering Cognitive Development: Neuroscience and the Child Brain

Presenters explored the evolving structure of the 5-12 year old brain. They facilitated optimal intellectual maturation. Lastly, they described effective education strategies for aiding in the development of critical cognitive capabilities.

Dr. Yigrah Kamine
Professor of Psychiatry & Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut
Dr. Michael Posner
Professor Emeritus at the University of Oregon

Depression and Mental Health


Presenters discussed current research and trends regarding depression and suicide. They reviewed practical ways that parents, peers, and educators can work together to identify risks and resolutions. Lastly, presenters detailed mental health factors parents should pay attention to before their children attend boarding school, college, or move out of the house.

Dr. Karen Swartz
Founder of Adolescent Depression Awareness Program
Ross Szabo
Director of Youth Outreach for the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign
Martha Velasquez
Public Speaker of Mental Health

Depression and Mental Health: Happiness and Moods

Presenters discussed teen happiness and positive psychology, the role of the teen brain, and how parents can help adolescents be happier. Lastly, they detailed the role of success in happiness.

Robin Deutsch
Director of Forensic Services at Massachusetts General Hospital
Jenifer Marshall Lippincott
Co-author of 7 Things Your Teenager Won’t Tell You
Claudia Wallis
Spencer Fellow at Columbia School of Journalism

Eating Disorders and Body Image

Presenters taught parents the signs and symptoms of eating disorders, how to best support struggling teens, and appropriate verbiage surrounding the topic of eating disorders and body image. They also discussed body image pertaining to the media. 

Wendy Cramer
Clinical Outreach Coordinator at the Renfrew Center
Maureen Kelly
Director of Training and Education at Planned Parenthood
Kathy Benn
Public Speaker
Dr. Angelo Celio Doyle
Counselor and Researcher
Katherin Parkin
Professor at Monmouth University

Eating Disorders and Body Image

Presenters discussed the prevalence of eating disorders, the common misconceptions surrounding eating disorders, and the causes of eating disorders and dieting. They also discussed Body Dysmorphic Disorder, over-exercising, and nutrition supplements. Finally, they gave parents tips on supporting a student who struggles with Body Dysmorphic Disorder or over-exercising and how to help students have a healthy relationship with food.

Patti Agatston
Shaheen Shariff
Professor at McGill University

Eating Disorders and Body Image

Presenters informed students of the signs and symptoms of various eating disorders. This included anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder. They also discussed the impact of the media on how young adults view their bodies.

Kathy Benn
Public Speaker and Activist
Cheryl Moy
Binge Eating Disorder Speaker
Katherine Parkin
Professor at Monmouth University

Eating Disorders and Body Image

Presenters detailed the dangers and hidden truths associated with nutrition supplements and compulsive exercise. They explained how to approach and support students who may be struggling and how to counteract media images of ideal bodies.

Caroline Balz
Board Member of Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association
Beth Mayer
CEO of Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association
Holly Hemenway
Personnel at Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association

He Said, She Said: How Men and Women Learn Differently

Presenters discussed stereotypes and socialization surrounding gender and learning, as well as brain science and gender in the classroom. They evaluated gendered-education approaches, reviewed the results of learning differences in teens, evaluated the influence of learning styles, promoted a growth mindset, and provided guidance on working with individuals who have different learning styles. Lastly, the presenters discussed how to dismantle social stereotypes and maintain equality between all genders in and outside of the classroom.

Paul Gorski
Professor at George Mason University
Abigail Norfleet James
David Sadker
Educator and Writer

Healthy Sleep Strategies

Ms. Hochman described the importance of sleep and gave tips on achieving more hours of it. She explained that getting enough sleep helps individuals reach a great degree of success.

Susan Hochman
Health Promotion Specialist at Columbia University

I’m Totally Stressing: The Quest for Balance

Presenters gave students tips to juggle responsibilities, avoid mistakes, and set limits and effective expectations to reduce stress and promote wellness. They aimed to teach strategies for striking a healthy balance.

Dr. Richard Ginsburg
Co-Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital PACES Institute of Sport Psychology
Dr. Mary Ann McDonnell
Professor at Northeastern University
Dr. Michael Tomkins                                  Founding Partner at San Francisco Bay Area Center For Cognitive Therapy

Learning and Study Skills

Presenters discussed ADD/ADHD and the current treatment options available. They also discussed the growing issue of ADD/ADHD prescription medicine abuse.

Dr. Kevin Antshel
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at  SUNY Upstate Medical University
Dr. James Jacobs
Director of Student Health Services at Ohio State University
Dr. Colleen Slipka
Psychiatrist at James Madison University

Learning, ADHD, and Study Skills

Presenters provided information about ADHD and other learning disabilities. They gave strategies to create a positive association with learning academic success for Children. Additionally, presenters discussed goal setting, time management, and creating a schedule. Lastly, they taught parents how to best help students overcome procrastination, how to treat school like a job, and how to help students reduce test anxiety.

Dr. Stewart Barbera Jr.
Counseling Department at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School
Michael Gurian
Author and Cofounder of the Gurian Institute
Jonathan Mooney
Writer and Founder of Eye-to-Eye
Stephen Strichart
Co-founder of Mangrum-Strichart Learning Resources
Walter Bradley
Founder of Success 4 Students
Tracy Rush
Coordinator of Learning Resources and Student Disability Services at Swarthmore
Matt Bellace
National Speaker and Comedian



Linking Fad Dieting Behaviors & Disordered Eating

Experts discussed eating for optimum teen health. They also addressed how to recognize disordered eating patterns.

Dr. MaryBeth Ertel
Michael Feldman
Actor and Producer of “Muslebound”
Jessica Pellicciotta
Coordinator of Nutrition and Fitness Programs at Villanova University


Money Matters & Mental Health

Presenters gave strategies for saving money. They also explained what fiscal responsibility is and why it is important. Lastly, they discussed financial health

Danielle Champagne
Assistant Director of the Student Money Management Center at the University of North Texas
David Murnaugh
Meadows Center for Health Resources at the University of North Texas


Nurturing Resilience and Instilling Self Confidence

Dr. Robert Brooks discussed ways to build a young child’s healthy spirit and positive self-esteem to better weather the ups and downs of life.

Dr. Robert Brooks
Author and Motivational Speaker


Stress, Anxiety, and Learning

Panelists gave tips to students for working with peers who suffer from ADHD and other learning disabilities. They also discussed approaches to effective studying and coping with stress.

Jonathan Mooney
Author and Founder of Project Eye-to-Eye
Dr. Denise Pope
Lecturer at Stanford University
Pat Wyman


The Modern Superkid: Anxious, Stressed, and Overscheduled

Experts detailed the research surrounding the effects of activity pace and various stress levels on growing children. They taught parents how to minimize detrimental anxiety in their kids while allowing them to thrive from beneficial stress.

Gina Biegel
Psychotherapist and Creator of Stressed Teens
Dr. Denise Pope
Lecturer at Stanford University
Pat Wyman


The Spectrum of Disordered Eating and Seeking Support Away from Home


Presenters advised athletes on how to encourage healthy relationships with food and discourage disordered eating among their teammates. They also prepared students for a successful transition from high school to college.

Dr. Sharlene Nagy Hess-Biber
Director of the Women’s Studies Program at Boston College
Elise Philips
Director of Health Education and Student Support at Simmons College 

What’s My Style? Linking Learning Styles with Test & Study Skills


Panelists described how teens and young adults can match style with studying, time management, and test management strategies for success.

Betty Caldwell
Founder and Director of Stressless Tests
Dr. Edward Cherry
University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Institute for Learning Styles Research


Dr. Russell French
University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Institute for Learning Styles Research


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